Meningitis cases spawn calls from patients

A tainted steroid believed to have caused an outbreak of fungal meningitis in several states has some Mid-Missourians worried about routine epidural steroid injections.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47 cases of fungal meningitis had been reported as of Friday afternoon across seven states. Missouri was not one of them. Of the 47 cases, five resulted in death.

On Friday, officials with Mid-Missouri Anesthesia Consultants Center for Pain Management said they had received nearly 40 calls from patients regarding the fungal meningitis.

Dr. James Hough, director of the center, said the center buys its medication through Bristol-Myers Squibb, not the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., where the tainted steroids originated.

He also said the steroid in question is methylprednisolone. The Center for Pain Management administers triamcinolone.

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